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Williams Tops With Forbes, Unigo

Staff Reports

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — You know fall's around the corner when the inevitable lists of the best schools start appearing. And, inevitably, the Williams College is on them.

This month, Williams' selection as one of the "New Ivies" by college-rater Unigo.com comes on the heel's of its top ranking as America's best college by Forbes Magazine.

The private liberal arts institution, and the second-oldest college in the state after Harvard, has been a perennial top-lister in various "best of" lists, including U.S. News and World Report's annual rankings. Forbes ranked Williams as No. 4 last year; this year, it popped to the top, beating out archrival Amherst at No. 3.

Forbes ranks colleges on academics and students' experiences and achievements. Unigo.com's rankings are similar and it gleans all of its information directly from students. The site offers information to help collegebound students choose the right school. The list of "The New Ivies" is among the site's "10 for 10" that includes ranking for the 10 safest, best party, most intellectual and sports.

The information culled from some 30,000 respondents placed Williams among the New Ivies with Duke and Johns Hopkins for its low student-instructor ratio, communal atmosphere and emphasis on academic experience over grades.

Williamstown is isolated. But the athletic, outdoorsy and social students don’t seem to mind spending time on campus together. 'We come here for the academics, and for one another.' That, in a nutshell, is Williams' largest selling point.

 

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Williamstown Steeple on eBay

Staff Reports

As you've probably already heard, the St. Raphael's steeple has been posted on eBay. The church's pride has structural issues and a decision was made to remove while the building and nearby rectory are transformed into affordable housing units.

There was the idea of simply setting it aside, like giant lawn ornament, but the commitee working with developer David Carver didn't warm to the idea. Thus, like so many tchotkes and oddities, the steeple found itself on eBay. Here's the link.

It's a great opportunity for a buying a "once in a lifetime" deal, says the description.

Get ready ... because this is a once in a lifetime opportunity. We are please to offer a real life part of Western New England history ... What a wonderful piece of architectural history to own ... pour a concrete slab and enjoy it for a lifetime.

The minimum bid is $1,000 but with 39 hours to go, no one's bid on it. The auction ends on Aug 22 at 5:55:13 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time, or 2:55:13 a.m. our time. The local pickup requirement would certainly lessen the number of (any?) interested buyers - it would be pretty pricey to ship since it weighs in at five to six tons. We found one freight calculator that came up with $3,500 to ship it to 90210 (since we figured someone in that ZIP could easily afford it).

The removal and loading on a flatbed are included, so that's a nice incentive. And where else can you get a church steeple like it? On the other hand, it's just the slate-covered spire and not the more architecturally interesting belfry beneath it.

If a steeple won't fit at your house but you're still looking for some Williamstown history, there's elements of the Kalker House still available at the ReStore in Springfield. The beautiful doorway taken from the home (demolished to make way for the Clark Art Institute's new entrance) can be picked up for $2,000. It's twice the price as the steeple but we're thinking a lot easier to get home.

Update: The auction ended Saturday night with no bids; we haven't seen it relisted.

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Wilco Delivers Solid Set, Hints at Return to MoCA

Staff Reports

Wilco worked a sensational 2 1/2 hour set Saturday night at Mass MoCA's Joe Field. Lead singer Jeff Tweedy thanked the thousands in attendance (official number of tickets sold have yet to be released by event organizers):

"Thanks for letting us take over your town, or at least part of it," he said.

The freight train could be heard during one of Wilco's songs, and Tweedy quipped:

"You guys hear that train go by? We made that happen. It's part of our installation."

Tweedy also got the fans involved, letting the masses sing the first two verses to "Jesus, Etc." He said it was one of the top three renditions he's ever heard from an audience.

The band's frontman also made reference to coming back next year, which garnered a huge roar from the crowd.

Still plenty more to come Sunday on the third and final day of the Solid Sound Festival. Keep it here at iBerkshires.com for more coverage.

 

 

 

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Almost Time for Wilco

Staff Reports

Wilco is set to take the stage in about an hour. The crowds around Mass MoCA are swelling and the anticipation for the big set is building. Check back later tonight for updates on attendance figures.

Jeff Tweedy prepared for his band's show by taking a swim — or several for that matter. Tweedy, along with other members of Wilco, hopped aboard a dunk tank earlier this afternoon. The money raised will go to local charities to support arts education.

Here's a picture of Tweedy bracing for impact.

 

Todd Barry took to the Hunter Center stage at about 4 p.m... Had the crowd in stitches...












 

 

 

Wilco drummer Glenn Kotche gave an explanation/demonstration of his drum installation at the Sol Lewitt .... Best moment came when Kotche looked at one of the drums and said, "Oops, looks like somebody bled on this one." Who said art wasn't supposed to be painful?




 











Bunch of music today! Here are a couple photos. ..

Time for the big show , and then a big extravaganza on Main Street. Check back to iBerkshires.com later for updates and more photos.

 

So some would argue golf might not be a sport, but how about an art form?? Wow, they really have just about everything to offer at MoCA this weekend.

 

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